Be careful what you wish for.
The circumstances were grim. The people took matters into their own hands and demanded a king and now Samuel held them accountable.
But when you saw that Nahash, king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you. 1 Samuel 12:12-13.
The Israelites got who they asked for. A king, but this king was a mere man, not the Lord of the Universe. They and subsequent generations paid dearly for their choice.
What happens when there is a huge disparity between what I want from life and what reality brings? What happens when the circumstances look bleak and I can not see God? Do I forget history and turn my back on the God who has brought me safe thus far? Do I look for other means of salvation? Will I forgo trusting God and rely on a false illusion of control, fear and anxiety to save me? Israel’s cautionary tale tells me to choose the Lord God as my king, my deliverer.
When my desires and deepest longings are open, festering wounds, who do I turn to? Do I forget history and turn my back on the God who has brought me safe thus far? King David, Saul’s successor leads the way to staying close to the heart of God,
All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you…O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior. Psalm 38:9…21
Mysteriously, mercifully, God provided a king for his people through a long line of frail and fallen earthly kings. This time, the king was God himself in human form so that we might know him. Because of the death and resurrection of this King Jesus, we his followers, will never be forsaken nor separated from the love of God. We have a God who understands the depths of suffering and abandonment so that we don’t have to know that kind of pain. And if we do forget him, he will not forget us and is always waiting for us to return to him with open arms.
Lord, when circumstances seem to tell me that you are not in control and you will not save me, hold me close and help me trust and wait for you. Keep me from looking for salvation from anyone, anything other than you. It’s in the precious name of your Son that I ask this. Amen.